What you need to know:
- Options for managing the remaining days are that you agree to work one day a week so you have time to do some work without pressure. This means that your total maternity leave will be extended.
I am a finance officer in my organisation and about to go on maternity for the second time in two years. I have a challenge.
The last time I went on maternity leave, my company hired a temporary staff to stand in for me and while she worked I found that I had to repeat much work, which caused me much stress and made it so difficult to return to work.
Can I ask my manager to re-visit how I take my maternity leave to avoid the stress I faced the last time and am I allowed to use an untaken holiday to extend my maternity leave if required? Susan
Hello Susan, this is interesting. You have two issues here: re-visit how your maternity leave is taken and how to manage an extended maternity leave period. How maternity leave is contained within the organisation is dictated by the policy that you have in place.
The Employment Act does state that a mandatory minimum time that a new mother must nit work. How you manage the remaining 25 days can be negotiated. It would be best if you appreciated that moving away from your company policy may cause some problems, but asking is no harm.
Given that you faced significant stress the last time you were on maternity leave and feel strongly that you want to work to avoid the pressure on return, you must present a strong argument for a review and adjustment. It’s unlikely that your manager will allow you to deviate from the guidelines in the law, but they may listen to how you manage the rest of the maternity leave days. It is essential that you have some rest with your newborn.
Options for managing the remaining days are that you agree to work one day a week so you have time to do some work without pressure. This means that your total maternity leave will be extended.
Regarding using earned but taking annual leave at the point of going on maternity, this needs to be negotiated with your Manager. Many companies consider and accommodate this, however, you need to be mindful that the organisation must also consider the impact of your continued absence from the workplace.
In managing extended leave and to address the first matter raised, you could request that on your return to work, you take your annual leave on half time basis. This would be, for example, if you have 15 days of annual leave earned and do not taken you agree only to take two days off a week over seven weeks allowing you to manage a gentle entry back into work as well as giving you more time with your new-born. Good luck.
Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U) [email protected]